Brother To Brother

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AVONDALE, Az. - Talk about an act of brotherly love.

On a day that saw his older brother, Kurt, get suspended by Roush Racing, Kyle Busch raced to his second career victory in Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The younger Busch held off Greg Biffle for the win and couldn't help but feel a sense of vindication for his older brother's problems earlier in the day.

"I'm behind my brother 100 percent and I want to apologize to Sharpie and Crown Royal for taking a true champion out of his car today," Kyle Busch said after taking the checkered flag.

Kurt Busch was suspended for a police incident near Phoenix on Friday night when he was cited for reckless driving. Car owner Jack Roush decided early Sunday morning to take the action against the reigning NEXTEL Cup Series champion and sit him out for the last two races of the season.

Kyle continued to defend his brother after the race.

"It is a pleasure to carry on the Busch family's name for both races this year," he said referring to Kurt's win at Phoenix in April."

He then continued, "Usually, things in the media are false and that's just what it comes down to sometimes."

But when a media member asked what he meant by that statement, Busch snapped, "I'm not going there, bud."

He then walked out of the winner's press conference.

Before the post-race fireworks, Busch drove his Hendrick Motorsports Kellogg's Chevrolet passed Biffle on lap 285 and never looked back on his way to the win.

"Greg was really fast, I want to thank him for racing me clean," Kyle Busch said. "This is our second win, but it should have been more than that. We had a tremendous car all day."

Biffle dominated the race leading 189 of the 312 laps. After coming out of the pits tenth on the day's final round of pit stops, he worked his way to the front and battled Busch in s ide-by-side duel that had the crowd of more than 100,000 on its feet.

But Busch eventually had too much for the Roush Racing Ford, forcing him to the runnerup spot.

"He had a strong car and I knew he had too much for us there at the end when he passed me," said Biffle who stayed alive in the championship race trailing Stewart by 102 points.

Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte rounded out the Top 5.

Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Robby Gordon, Dale Jarrett and Travis Kvapil completed the first ten finishers.

Stewart's fourth place finish coupled with Johnson's seventh extended his lead to 52 heading to next week's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"The car had a good balance but it needed to be faster," Stewart said. "It's tough for a crew chief and a driver to know what to do to it to make it go faster. I had a really solid car that was so good on long runs. We knew what we had to do on the points deal and that was gain some points. It's a big weekend for us next weekend."

Edwards, who was shooting for his third straight NEXTEL Cup win and a sweep of the Pheonix weekend after taking Saturday's Busch Series race, stayed in third place and is now 87 points behind Stewart.

"Our car was real racy but we pitted with 58 to go and thought we could get further up than we did," Edwards said. "I still had a blast. The track was fast all day. Now, it's off to Homestead. It's frustrating we didn't make up any points with a good car, but that's how good Tony Stewart is."

Kenny Wallace, who was called Sunday morning to fill-in for the suspended Kurt Busch, drove the Roush Racing No. 97 to a 16th place finish never having taken a lap in the car until the green flag flew.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season finale is scheduled for next Sunday with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.





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